Rotary Club of Kitchener


June 15, 2020

Meeting Recording

Link to the Zoom meeting recording:

President's Comments

President Paul mentioned that this will be the last regular meeting of the year for the club.  He welcomed our special guest, mayor Berry Vrbanovic and reflected on the fact that it was very fitting to have mayor Vrbanovic with us today at our last meeting of the year as it was just about one year ago at the start of our Rotary year that Paul was on stage with Berry at the Crusin' On King Street event. Paul recalled that Berry suggested those on stage wear one of our Rotary shirts and that he encouraged those gathered to thank everyone they saw wearing one.  President Paul indicated that he is very much looking forward to at the next Crusin' On King Street in 2021.


In addition to our guest speaker mayor Berry Vrbaonovic our guests today included:
Steve Knipping, President of the Kitchener Grand River Club,
Graham Gardiner, from the Kitchener-Westmount Club,
Elena Shpinal, of the Moscow International Club,
Ian Thomas, CEO of Kindred Credit Union and a guest of Carl Zehr, and
Linda Kenny, CEO of KidsAbility and a guest of Jim Brown.

Bell Ringer(s)

President Paul expressed sincere thanks to all club members who served on a committee and the board this year making all of them the Bell Ringers for the week.

Happy Jar

Bill Proctor was quite happy that they have finally sold their house and that the moving date is only two weeks away.
Louise Gardiner was happy that for her birthday celebration this week 2 of her 3 children will be able to visit them along with the grandchildren.
Carl Zehr was happy that his daily walk along the Grand River, with spouse Sandy was particularly spectacular today.
Neil Swayze is ecstatic that he has an appointment to get his hair cut next week.
Lumi Mironescui was quite happy and surprised that over 2,000 people have viewed her post about her coming to Canada 21 years ago with just two suitcases of personal items and the history of the years between then and now.  She is also very pleased that her son has been accepted into the Film Production program at the University of Toronto.
John Webster was pleased and relieved that he has finished the second draft of his book dealing with his experiences as a runner and also extended congratulations to Louise for her recent experiences with running.
President Paul is both pleased and sad to see the Rotary year coming to an end but is very happy to have been able to serve the club as president.

Club Announcements

President Paul reminded members that our next regular meeting will be our Turnover meeting on Monday, July 6.
Our next evening meeting is a golf outing scheduled for June 22.  There is still time to sign up.

Program Highlights

Our guest speaker today was Mayor Berry Verbanovic, introduced by Howard Pell.
Berry Vrbanovic was first elected as Mayor of the City of Kitchener in 2014, after serving as a City Councillor from 1994-2014. In 2018, Mayor Vrbanovic was re-elected, with an outpouring of community support, for a second term. He is committed to improving the quality of life for residents in Kitchener and throughout the Region of Waterloo. In addition to serving on all regular standing committees of Kitchener city council and Region of Waterloo council, Berry is also an appointee and active participant on many boards and committees. Berry is Treasurer of United Cities & Local Governments, President Emeritus (2011-12) of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) and is a member of FCM’s Green Municipal Fund Council.
Berry began with an overview of the City’s Strategic Plan.  The Vision for the city is:
“Together we will build an innovative, caring and vibrant Kitchener.”
Strategic Plan 2019-2022
Great Customer Service
Our goal: Increase people’s satisfaction, trust and engagement with the city by providing friendly, easy and convenient services
People-friendly Transportation
Our goal: Transform how people move through the city by making the transportation network safe, convenient, comfortable and connected.
Environmental Leadership
Our goal: Achieve a healthy and livable community by proactively mitigating and adapting to climate change and by conserving natural resources.
Caring Community
Our goal: Enhance people’s sense of belonging and connection by providing welcoming community spaces and programs; better engaging, serving and supporting our diverse populations and helping to make housing affordable. 
Vibrant Economy
Our goal: Build a vibrant city by making strategic investments to support job creation, economic prosperity, thriving arts and culture, and great places to live.
He then spoke about the Pandemic, its impact on the city and how the city is responding.
Financial Implications
  • The City of Kitchener is currently projecting a $5.6M deficit for 2020.
  • The financial impacts related to the COVID-19 pandemic are significant, totaling $11.1M as of June.
  • The loss of recreation revenue continues to be most significant impact on the projected deficit, with the City now expecting to lose approximately $7.4M by the end of the year.
  • The Parking Enterprise is experiencing the greatest impact due to the reduced monthly/hourly parking demand, projecting a $1.5M deficit at this time.
Regional Pandemic Control Group (RPCG)
The Regional Pandemic Control Group has been meeting regularly to share information, facilitate sharing of resources, and guide the community-wide pandemic response in five areas: health, community support, critical infrastructure, the municipalities and communications.
Berry noted that the current declaration of a State of Emergency in the City of Kitchener is unprecedented.  There is no record of a State of Emergency ever before being declared in the City of Kitchener.
City Initiatives - Financial
  • Small Business Recovery Outreach Program – Provide support and tailored resources to small businesses and entrepreneurs in recovery; one on one personalized support to local businesses;
  • Waiving penalties and interest on property taxes – June, 2020;
  • Waiving late payment charges on utility bills – June, 2020;
  • Developing an application based property tax deferral program to extend 2020 property tax final bill due dates by 60 days for residents and businesses;
  • Suspending utility disconnection and collection activities until August 31, 2020; and
  • Waiving temporary sign permit fees until Dec 31, 2020 to aid businesses in their promotion efforts during the recovery phase.
City Initiatives – Social
  • Special Active Kitchener release: reimagined as an interactive activity guide complete with articles, games, puzzles and activity ideas for residents of all ages;
  • Online map created to connect residents to Kitchener restaurants and food businesses;
  • Launched Active at Home virtual programming;
  • Created and expanded social support to seniors: City of Kitchener staff have placed over 3100 calls to 349 different seniors that would typically attend direct City programs;
  • Opened community gardens as essential service following provincial direction-provide food security; and
  • Kitchener Says Thanks: live concert series, children's entertainment and poster initiative.
“Collectively, this group will be a point of contact for governments as they make rapid decisions to support the evolving economic and business environment, and will help to promptly disseminate these decisions to our business community. We will also be advocating on behalf of Waterloo Region firms to ensure their urgent needs and concerns are heard, clearly articulated and addressed.” 
Tony LaMantia, President & CEO, Waterloo EDC, Chair of BESTWR
Kitchener Reopens - Six Key Principles
There are 6 key principles that will be essential as we looked to return to a new normal in our community: 
1. The safety of our community and safety of staff.  Nobody will be safe if not everybody is safe and now more than ever, we need to strive to ensure nobody is left behind.
2. Our role as public servants – whether elected or staff is to deliver calm in a chaotic time.
3. Our efforts must be action oriented – never forgo the above principles of safety and delivering calm, but we also can’t wait for perfection or won’t get anything done.  We also must be clear and concise in our communication.
4. More so than ever, it is critically important that we pull together as a team and that each of us strives to be the best we can be
5. Now more than ever is an opportunity for each of us to show leadership, to be innovative to and for our leaders to make some bold and decisive decisions.
6. Our world has changed.  We have changed.  This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to move forward on strategic imperatives like Active Transportation, Climate Change, Affordable Housing and the Sustainable Development Goals.  Are we prepared to lead in these areas.
Recovery Planning
The City of Kitchener’s comprehensive recovery plan focuses on:
  1. Meeting the needs of the community by providing valued programs and services to business and residents;
  2. Ensuring the health and safety of City employees and members of the community;
  3. Contributing to the community and global efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19; and
Minimizing the City’s projected 2020 financial deficit. 
Reopening – Phase 1 – Mid-May to Mid-June
Outdoor Amenities
  • Outdoor park amenities, dog parks, tennis courts, BMX bike course, pickle ball, basketball and volleyball courts, skate parks and Huron natural Area parking reopen.
  • Rockway and Doon Golf Courses open
  • Some sports fields open for informal recreational use
  • Slow / Shared Street Program Launches
Indoor Facilities
  • Staged Farmers’ Market Reopening
  • Gym Judo club reopening
Programs and Events
  • Small business outreach recovery program begins and tool kit launched
  • Legislated written consultations begin (e.g. notice to application)
  • Program to support restaurant patio expansion city-wide begins
Reopening – Phase 2 – Mid-June to Mid-July
Outdoor Amenities
  • Some sports fields reopen for modified bookings, if organized sports are allowed by the province (under modified conditions)
  • Playgrounds and other outdoor amenities open, if allowed by the province
  • Phased reopening of outdoor pools and splash pads, if allowed by the province
Indoor Facilities
  • Smaller public bookings may begin at 1-2 city facilities, depending upon crowd size
  • City Hall open by appointment
  • Limited number of community centres reopened for modified programs, if allowed by the province
  • Reopening of lawn bowling clubs, KMHA and WRBA offices, Budd Park (indoor), if allowed by the province
Programs and Events
  • Pilot food trucks at 5 community locations across the city
  • Non-legislated written consultations begin (not linked to statutory approvals)
Reopening – Phase 3 – Mid-July to September
Outdoor Amenities
Indoor Facilities
  • City Hall continues to open by appointment only
  • Phased reopening of arenas for small scale bookings and organized sports booking, if allowed by the province
  • Reopening Dom Cardillo Ice Pad
  • Additional staff begin to work at city hall utilizing shifts (later in this phase)
  • Accept slightly larger bookings at City Hall, if allowed by the province
  • Some additional community centres reopened with limited capacity, if permitted by the province
  • Phased reopening of indoor pools, if permitted by the province
Programs and Events
  • Regular standing Committee / Council cycle resumes in August (virtual delegations only)
  • Modified Advisory Committees and quasi-judicial committees commence
  • Virtual meetings used to facilitate other legislated engagement requirements (e.g., Planning Information Centres for Environmental Assessments)
  • Virtual meetings used to facilitate non-legislated community engagement
  • Increase group programming capacity in recreation facilities
Reopening Phase 4 – 2021+
Outdoor Amenities
  • All sports fields reopen for regular bookings and return to their regular maintenance cycle
Indoor Facilities
  • All municipal buildings pen to public use
  • Reinstate larger bookings at City facilities
Programs and Events
  • Regular Council / Committee delegations resume
  • Resume events and large gatherings
  • Resume regular day camps and community centre programming
For More Information
For more details on the City’s recovery plan visit:
For updates on the City’s COVID-19 response visit:
For updates on the Region of Waterloo’s response visit:
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View entire list
Birthdays & Membership Anniversaries
Member Birthdays
Bill Krohn
June 10
Louise Gardiner
June 17
Cheryl Ewing
June 18
Darren Sweeney
June 26
Ray Taylor
June 30
Join Date
Bill Proctor
June 1, 2002
18 years
Gary Parker
June 1, 1994
26 years
Martin Jones
June 1, 2009
11 years
Rohit Kumar
June 13, 2016
4 years
Neil Swayze
June 22, 2015
5 years
Ernie Ginsler
June 30, 2002
18 years
Ray Taylor
June 30, 2002
18 years